Top Chefs in Minneapolis

Minneapolis had 9 chefs and 2 restaurants qualify as semifinalists for James Beard Foundation awards in 2018. Sure, we have cheese-filled burgers and tater tot hotdish, but did you know that we have world-renowned chefs and nationally acclaimed restaurants?

Get to know the talent that lies within the Minneapolis food scene. These are some of the top chefs in Minneapolis.

For even more info on our fantastic food scene, check out the Minnesota Food Guide!

Steven Brown of Tilia & Saint Genevieve

A genius in the kitchen, and an inspiration among the Minneapolis food scene, Steven Brown of the two renowned restaurants, Tilia and St. Genevieve, remains an icon among local chefs. Experience his carefully crafted and elegant French-inspired menu at St. Genevieve, or dine at the local favorite neighborhood bistro, Tilia. Brown has made many connections with other buffs in the industry by serving as a mentor and friend. Mike Brown of Travail, Erick Harcey of Victory 44 and Upton 43, Landon Schoenefeld of Nighthawks and Peter Campbell of Red Wagon Pizza all cite Brown as a major supporter. Brown was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's 2018 Best Chef: Midwest Award (Tilia).

Ann Kim, Photo by The Restaurant Project

Ann Kim of Young Joni

The wildly popular Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza have another addition to the family, Young Joni. Ann Kim opened her third restaurant along with her husband and business parter in the winter of 2016, and it’s a huge success. She knows how to do pizza, so this is a large focus of the Young Joni menu with twists like kimchi, preserved lemon, sweet potatoes, and clams. Decadent small plates like Korean beef short ribs and Thai sausage skewers supplement the other unique menu offerings. A former actress, Kim is constantly glowing and full of energy. She brings her creativity to the table, and she’s also one of the most liked chefs in town. Kim was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's 2018 Best Chef: Midwest Award.


Sean Sherman
of The Sioux Chef

Founded by Sean Sherman, CEO Chef, Sioux Chef is an indigenous kitchen, caterer and food educator to the area. Co-author of The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen,winner of a 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award, Sherman's main culinary focus has been on the revitalization and awareness of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context. His own studies include Native American farming techniques, land stewardship, hunting and fishing, food preservation, and Native American migrational histories and culture, which all contribute in his work to bring back a sense of Native American cuisine to today's world. Sherman and partner Dana Thompson are also developing a new Mississippi riverfront restaurant, sure to focus heavily on indigenous culinary techniques and cuisine.

Jamie Malone of Grand Café and Eastside

With hand-painted wallpaper from Paris, vintage décor and delectable French-inspired cuisine, the popular Grand Café, led by Chef Jamie Malone, is on every foodie's list as one of the top spots in the Twin Cities and was a 2018 semifinalist for the James Beard Award's Best Restaurant. Malone focuses on presentation and ambiance as much as taste and quality, making dining a true experience. Malone’s inspiration for ethnic cuisine comes from her travels throughout Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Europe. The diverse flavors and techniques can be seen on the menu and tasted in each dish. Malone also recently took over Eastside Eat + Drink, preparing to overhaul the East Town restaurant with family-style dishes and world-class cocktails with a vibe all its own. She was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's 2018 Best Chef: Midwest Award.

Thomas Boemer of Corner Table and Revival

Chef and co-owner of both Corner Table and Revival, Thomas Boemer is making his mark in the Minneapolis food scene. Boemer appreciates quality over anything, which is why Revival’s fried chicken has become the talk of the town. He states that good fried chicken requires focus and attention. Each piece is made fresh and with a precise technique. Boemer mentions that he used to grow up eating fried chicken at his friends houses, so recreating that warm feel and delicious crunch became a personal endeavor of his. Revival is also known to have one of the best burgers in town (if not the best). Corner Table is given the same attention to detail, and focuses on seasonal ingredients with high-end flare and a little adventure. Boemer was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's 2018 Best Chef: Midwest Award (Corner Table).

Chefs Gavin Kaysen and Diane Yang, Photo by Bonjwing Photography

Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable & Bellecour

Spoon and Stable might just be the trendiest restaurant in town. Gavin Kaysen has taken seasonal fare to a whole new level. He aims to capture the feeling that each season provides, and dish those feelings out on the plate. He starts with the classics, like pot roast and chicken, and uses his artistic eye to morph the dishes into something that evokes. Kaysen is also an advocate of helping chefs to develop their skills. He’s one of the founding mentors of the nonprofit ment’or BKB Foundation, which aims to inspire culinary excellence in young, aspiring chefs through education and mentorship. Kaysen was the winner of the James Beard Foundation's 2018 Best Chef: Midwest Award (Spoon and Stable).

Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma and Brasa

Alex Roberts has innovated fine dining with Restaurant Alma. Seasonally inspired dishes with locally sourced ingredients and fine-tuned flavor make Restaurant Alma unlike any hotel restaurant you’ve ever experienced. Roberts claims that his approach to creating any dish has three parts: Richness (often the protein, full of flavor), aromatics (something that ignites the senses like tarragon or lemon zest), and the essence of the ingredient (something that reinforces the flavors of the richness in the dish). His flavors are subtle, yet full-bodied. Try Restaurant Alma and taste the difference. Roberts was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's 2018 Best Chef: Midwest Award (Restaurant Alma).

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